from The Daily Telegraph (London,Eng.) , Obituaries, Wed., Sept 27, 1989: "Wally" Floody, who has died in Toronto aged 71, was the architect of the celebrated "Great Escape" from Stalag Luft 3 at Sagan in Silesia in 1944, and later gave technical advice of the much-televised film of that name. Floody surveyed, designed and engineered the tunnel through which 76 RAF and other Allied prisoners made their escape. His role in the project was so highly valued that the camp's leaders forbade him to join an earlier escape attempt with a delousing party. "We need you for the tunnels," he was told. " God I am sick of them," he complained. "I seem to spend my life down a stinking hole in the ground. I want a change." A large man of six foot three, Floody was a ferocious digger in the sandy and treacherous soil and was twice almost killed underground. On the 1st occasion he was buried under nearly half a ton of sand. On the 2nd he was crawling naked through a tunnel when a section of it collapsed on him; luckily his face was just over a trap door to a secret shaft, so he could breath , and he was rescued after an hour's frantic digging. After putting so much effort into the design and digging of the camp's 3 tunnels-Tom, Dick & Harry- Floody was disappointed not to take part in the Great Escape. Shortly before the break-out he was moved to a nearby camp at Beria, and so avoided the fate of 50 of his felloow prisoners, who were recaptured and murdered on Hitler's orders. Clark Wallace Floody was born at Chatham, Ontario, on Ap 28 1918 and educated at the Northern Vocational School. He then entered the mining industry at Kirkland Lake, Ontario, which gave him the expertise so valuable in the prison camp. Commissioned into the RCAF as a pilot officer in 1941, Floody joined No.401 Squadron (formerly No 1 Squadron RCAF); he was promoted to the rank of Flight-Lt while a POW. That Oct, a month after he'd joined the squadron, it's Spitfire Vbs - together with two other squadrons of the Biggin Hill Spitfire wing- were bounced by enemy FW190 and ME109 fighters while on an offensive sweep over Nieuport and Gravelines in France. Floody baled (sic) out and was captured. The tunnel scheme began while the Germans were preparing a new compound at the camp, and Floody was all for it from the start. Seven hundred prisoners moved in on April 1 1943, and by April 11 sites for the traps of three major tunnels had been selected. In the event the escape took place on March 24 1944, through "Harry". To keep the tunnel straight- it was 336 ft long and almost 30 ft deep-was a considerable engineering feat for which Floody was chiefly responsible. After the 1939-45 War he gave evidence at the Nuremburg Trials, before launching himself into a hectic entrepeneurial career in Canada, Floody built up and sold numerous small businesses and was chief executive of several trade associations, including those for florists and the bottlers of carbonated beverages. He also helped to found the Royal Canadian Air Force Prisoners of War Assocciation and was indefatigable in his work for less fortunate members. He is survived by his wife Betty, whom he married in 1940, and their 2 sons. "
-30- ----- Original Message ----- From: <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org>; <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>; <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> Sent: Sunday, July 23, 2006 3:29 PM Subject: [nsroots] WWII: The Great Escape - Cape Breton Link > -"The Ottawa Sun," Sunday, July 23, 2006, pp. 18-19. > > Boxer fought the good fight in 'The Great escape' > by Pat MacAdam > > The last surviving Canadian > plotter in "The Great Escape" > from Stalag 111 is dead. > > Flight Lieut. Lawrence (Law) Power, 88, passed away at Taigh > na Mara (Gaelic for House by the Sea) a veterans' retirement residence in > Glace Bay, Cape Breton. > On the night of March 24/25, 1944, 76 Allied kriegsgefangeners > tunnelled out of Stalag 111. > Only three made "home runs." Two Norwegian pilots made it to > England through Sweden. The third, a Dutch fighter pilot, reached > England through Spain and Gibraltar. > The remaining 73 prisoners were recaptured almost immediately. > An outraged Hitler ordered them all shot. Herman Goering and Field > Marshal Keitel calmed him down but Hitler insisted, "more than half are > to be shot and cremated." > The order was carried out by Gestapo Chief Heinrich Himmler. A > list of 50 escapers was drawn up. > They were killed by gunfire in wooded areas and their bodies > were cremated. > The Gestapo report reads: "The prisoners, whilst relieving > themselves, bolted for freedom and were shot while trying to escape. > Twenty British and six Canadian pilots were shot. > The remaining 24 came from central Europe and Scandanavia. > Law Power was not among the escapers. > He assited the escape committee with breakout plans. > The man responsible for the tunnels -- Tom, Dick and Harry -- > was Canadian F/L Wally Floody. > Floody was a 25-year-old fighter pilot who was shot down on his > first sortie in 1941. > During the Depression, he worked as a cowboy in Alberta but the > expertise that made him invaluable to escape plans were his years as a > hard > rock miner. > Floody's biggest problem was disposing of earth. > Law Power came up with a modest solution. Before war broke > out he held the Nova Scotia lightweight boxing title. > He persuaded the camp commandant to allow him to build a ring. > The construction activity - digging, sawing and hammering - diverted the > attention of guards and allowed tunnelers to scatter dirt under the ring. > On escape night, Law organized a diversionary fight card, which > was watched enthusiastically by prisoners and guards. > Floody did not participate in the mass escape. The Germans were > suspicious of him and had transferred him to another camp. > The last man out of the tunnel - escaper No. 76 - was Ottawa > Spitfire pilot, Keith "Skeets" Ogilvie. > Skeets joined the RAF at an Ottawa recruiting station. A year > later, he was flying a Spitfire in history's greatest air battle. He was > one of > Canada's first fighter aces. He destroyed five German fighter planes, a > bomber and damaged and probably destroyed two others. > Was he the "saviour of Buckingham Palace?" > The Dornier bomber he destroyed was on a course for the palace. > When it dropped its bombs, several landed in a courtyard but caused little > damage. > Dutch Queen Wilhelmina was standing on a balcony and > witnessed the drama. > Skeets downed his last enemy Bf-109 June 21, 1941. Two weeks > later, he was shot down and taken prisoner. > His short life as a warrior was punctuated by irony. > A week after his capture, his name appeared in the London > Gazette as a recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross. At the time, he > was in a German hospital where he was to remain for eight months > recovering from injuries. > Skeets' name was not on the list of 50 prisoners who were shot. > He went through life wondering why. > The 23 who were spared were sent to a Gestapo concentration > camp in Czechoslovakia. Sixteen were subsequently executed and Skeets > heard every volley and wondered when his turn would come. > Law Power was a bombardier and navigator. There were no > gallantry ribbons on his chest but he was proud of the gold caterpillar on > his lapel. > Parachuted Twice > He parachuted to safety twice - once over England and then over > Germany - where he was captured. > Law's Wellington bomber took off from Dishforth, Yorkshire. > On the return leg, in the vicinity of Wesel, Germany, a night > fighter attacked his aircraft. > The plane was severely damaged. > The pilot nursed it to the English coast but, at 0550 hours, gave > the order to bail out. > All six crewmembers survived but two were hospitalized. > Law suffered broken bones in his foot. > Several months later, he returned to 426 Squadron and joined a > new crew. > On a Jan. 27/28, 1944, Berlin raid, his Lancaster was shot down. > Four bombers were lost; 23 crewmembers were killed and six, including > three from Law's crew, parachuted safely and became POWs. > His parents were told he was missing in action. Months later, they > were advised by the International Red Cross that he was a prisoner. > After the war, Skeets stayed in the RCAF and served as a > squadron leader in Trenton, Centralia, Rockliffe and Downsview. He > retired in 1962, and passed away in 1998. > Wally Floody was repatriated to Canada. In the 1960s, he was > invited to be technical director for the film - The Great Escape - > starring > Richard Attenborough, Donald Pleasance, James Garner, Steve McQueen > and Charles Bronson. > He died in 1987. > > -does anyone have an obituary for Lawrence ("Law") Power? > ___________________________________________ > nsroots mailing list > email@example.com > http://mailman.ednet.ns.ca/cgi-bin/listinfo/nsroots > > > -- > No virus found in this incoming message. > Checked by AVG Free Edition. > Version: 7.1.394 / Virus Database: 268.10.3/395 - Release Date: 7/21/2006 ___________________________________________ nsroots mailing list firstname.lastname@example.org http://mailman.ednet.ns.ca/cgi-bin/listinfo/nsroots